Risk of severe hematologic toxicities in cancer patients treated with PARP inhibitors: results of monotherapy and combination therapy trials
Iulian Alecu, Tsveta Milenkova, Simon R Turner
Research and Development, AstraZeneca UK Limited, Cambridge, UK
The tolerability profile of PARP inhibitors often includes hematologic toxicities, and the characterization of these adverse events is important to allow effective management by clinicians. Zhou et al1 recently carried out a meta-analysis of the incidence and relative risks of severe neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia events in 12 randomized controlled trials of PARP inhibitors, either as monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The authors concluded that olaparib resulted in a higher incidence of severe (common terminology criteria for adverse events [CTCAE] grade $3) neutropenia when compared with niraparib and veliparib; however, these conclusions are based on inappropriate and incomplete comparisons of hematologic toxicity with olaparib or veliparib in combination with myelotoxic chemotherapy versus niraparib monotherapy. While both monotherapy and combination therapy olaparib studies are discussed in the paper, the neutropenia analysis is based on olaparib data solely from studies in combination with paclitaxel or paclitaxel plus carboplatin. In order to inform the practicing clinician of the relative risk of hematologic toxicity associated with different PARP inhibitors, direct comparison needs to be conducted based on monotherapy, where applicable, as per the approved drug indication, otherwise the reader is given misleading information.
View the original paper by Zhou et al.
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